Entry-level model to the McLaren Sport Series range shown at the Shanghai show, complete with a 533bhp twin-turbo V8
Mark Tisshaw
20 April 2015

McLaren has shown off its most affordable model yet, the 540C Coupé, at the Shanghai motor show.

The 540C sits below the recently revealed 570S in McLaren’s new Sports Series range of models. It has been priced from £126,000, some £17,250 less than the more powerful 570S, and brings McLaren closer to more ‘mainstream’ sports cars such as the Audi R8 and Porsche 911.

The 540C uses a 533bhp version of the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine used in the 570S, in which it develops 562bhp. Peak power arrives at 7500rpm in the 540C and maximum torque of 398lb ft is available between 3500rpm and 6500rpm. The ‘540’ name refers to the engine’s output in metric horsepower, which is 540hp.

Power from the mid-mounted engine is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 0-62mph time is put at 3.5sec, the 0-124mph time is 10.5sec and the top speed is 199mph. For comparison, the 570S covers 0-62mph in 3.2sec and 0-124mph in 9.5sec and it can reach a top speed of 204mph.

The 540C’s official combined economy of 25.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 258g/km are identical to the more powerful 570S’s.

The 540C is built around a carbonfibre chassis called MonoCell II and features aluminium body panels. It has a dry weight of 1311kg, just 2kg lighter than the 570S and about 150kg less than the next lightest sports car, the R8.

There are small aerodynamic changes to the 540C compared with the 570S, plus new-look alloy wheels measuring 19in in diameter at the front and 20in at the rear. There’s also revised damper tuning, designed to make the 540C more comfortable for daily driving.

Unlike the other model in McLaren’s range to use the ‘C’ suffix — the 625C, which is available in Asia only — the 540C will be available for sale globally. It can be ordered now ahead of deliveries in early 2016. The ‘C’ is understood to stand for Clubsport.

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Comments
18

9 April 2015
All of a sudden, there's new McLarens!,why?,i think there's to many choices in Car's these Day's.I thought that over 150mph was the qualifier for high performance,now it seems that,you can have it in different flavours so to speak.

Peter Cavellini.

20 April 2015
...to being my perfect car!

But I was really looking for was a McLaren with 525 metric horsepower, weighing 1304kg and costing £115459

Oh well maybe just wait until next week then.

9 April 2015
It seems like the McLaren just can't keep out of the news these days.

20 April 2015
They are just doing what Porsche does with the 911.

20 April 2015
Same same design for all it cars!! Not that the older brothers are that great in first place.. Also still too expensive to be called entry level ..as technically and dynamically good as Mclarens product maybe... In words of James May..do they really give the same Fizz sensation as it competitors ..from looks to interior to sounds of the engine etccc
Not sure!! Although not saying I wouldn't mind having one.. Just not over it competitors if I was paying!!

A34

20 April 2015
This misses the "dentist test" - can a small business owner afford AND justify it? No - 2 seats not 2+2, and priced at 2 x 911 approx. I wonder if McLaren will try the bigger challenge of satisfying the Lotus end of the market?

jer

20 April 2015
They seem to be covering a lot more bases than I ever expected.. I would of thought the price point for the carbon cell would not go this low.

20 April 2015
Everything they do seems to ape Ferrari. Their cars look like fake Ferraris and they even give them similar, Ferrari-esque names. Mind you, Ferrari's names are somehow far more memorable. Ron Dennis had a golden opportunity here to establish a distinctive brand and he's made a hash of it. The underlying competence of the cars seems to be their only saving grace; they have no style, no charisma. And that is what a supercar is all about.

20 April 2015
may lose its luster because of its sports cars show way too little distinction, especially at the front. Don't car much for the way they all look (like sports cars from the 90's mainly). On top of that, McLaren's F1 2015 performance is way below what it used to be. Poor Alonso for signing up with McLaren now Ferrari is finally doing well.

20 April 2015
I still think McLaren needs to do something different with this engine. This same old formula of twin turbo 3.8 V8 is getting very old and tired. In fact I am yawning just now as I type this.

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